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-   -   Donate Now, Or Pay Later, Part Duex (

blip 03-07-2001 10:37 AM

Re: Donate Now, Or Pay Later, Part Duex
Right, it's changed because of all the web crawlers that steal e-mail addresses.

I wrote a database backend mailer to make the username a link to a WWW form that looks up, and sends e-mail to, the registered username you clicked on, I'll put it back in today...

I get thousands of e-mails a day. Not fun.

CBR1000F 03-07-2001 10:49 AM

Re: Donate Now, Or Pay Later, Part Duex
I also login from multiple machines, and I need my cookies turned on to access my email server (web-based) so, I DUMP them constantly. This just means that I have to re-log in to MO most every time I go to your site.

bluetunip 03-07-2001 04:39 PM

Re: Donate Now, Or Pay Later, Part Duex
Users can't be expected to donate to a site when ads are flashing at them all the time.

Are the authors even interested in this site anymore, or is this a case of a hobby dragged forth by the growing Internet and now with it too much responsibility?

I would suggest removing all ads that don't fit the 'feel' of visitors.

It used to be that the yamaha ads were frequent and perhaps the only one shown, and that was fine, I in a way associated with them. But now we just see a horrendous collection of flashing porn boxes and then in the middle of that a pure 'donate to MO' banner. come on :)

I would suggest going through the site and taking all commercial references out of it. This includes the long articles on donation, the long article on requiring registration to meet the advertisers needs, and going back to a strictly hobbiest-consumer focused website as the site originally began.

Then you would be qualified to ask for donations. Not now.

opie 03-08-2001 01:45 AM

Re: Donate Now, Or Pay Later, Part Duex
Wow, Shaft! I know where you got your name!

There are at least 10 good reasons/ways MO beats a print mag. I subscribe to Cycle World, Motorcyclist, Cruiser, and (my favorite print mag) Motorcycle Consumer News. MO is at LEAST worth what I gladly pay those others. Frankly, if sending them some money means that they will be able to continue, or even improve, their current format and content, then what do I care if the non-donors can see the site or not? I'd also like the dreamers to be able to visit, so leave it open. That will maximize any ad money as well. But for 90% of MO readers, motorcycling is a hobby and a passion, as well as transportation. And hobbies and passions are things that MOST people spend money on. So spend a little on the folks who make you smile.

I've been very excited about Honda's new VTX 1800. After I saw one in the flesh (in the Chrome?) at the International Motorcycle Show, I knew I had to have a black one. Knowing Honda's reputation, and reading the preliminary stats, I figured that putting my money down on a new one would help me get one ASAP.

So... after I put my $500 down at my local Honda dealer, I waited. Smiling. Knowing that MO would be the first place I'd be able to hear from somebody who'd ridden the bike. I was right. About MO, and about the VTX.

Brent, my hat is off to you. I'll donate annually at least as much as I pay to subscribe to the other mags. The only difference is, I read them, then wait a month for the next one. I check MO every damned day. Thanks!

surfnm 03-08-2001 02:17 AM

Re: Donate Now, Or Pay Later, Part Duex
Why the mail whynot emailed statements?

muthafahka 03-08-2001 02:54 AM

Re: Unique numbers
I guess that may be so, but alot of sites use them as a reliable source for numbers. All the other services you mention, are subscription based so numbers are not readily available to the public. I guess ad agencies pay for this and if so, they rely on this data.

One comment though, regarding this donation business, is that you confuse readers when you say your profitable, then you post an ad saying that "MO NEEDS YOU TO DONATE." Well, so which one is it? If you're profitable then why the "need" for donations? I know, I know, the "improvements" and all that jazz. But what do you expect if your own biz model has been one of offering a free site and, all of the sudden, you realize that because of marketplace changes you need to supplement your income by charging the same people who have placed you on top of the heap?

It is one thing to tell an advertiser that you need to charge more since your readership has grown a certain percentage; it's a completely different thing to tell your readership that you need to charge them due to a loss of ad revenue. After all, it's not OUR fault.

You also make comparisons between yourself and the established motorcycle print media, yet you have no real-life experience as far as publishing a printed magazine. You make it sound like it is the easiest thing on the planet by quoting what distributors charge, mail cost, etc. This is equivalent as saying that Moby **** is a book about fishing.

The only constant I hear in all these postings is the obvious need for YOU to improve the quality of your publication by adding more specific tests of products, and your reply always seems to steer away from it.

I know that computers can be expensive, but prices are at an all-time low. You can purchase a hell of a server for around $3,000; Seems to me you need to do a bit of house cleaning BEFORE you start asking for money. All this "donation" stuff makes all wonder how long before you pull the plug.

It's also apparent that you've put yourself in this predicament by seriously limiting the number of advertisers you serve. You obviously only have a handful of them. Maybe you charge too much? Why not drop prices and let them pay for the right to be in front of your 1 million plus readers?

How does my $2 or $3 donation help? Seems your spending way too much energy and effort in this piss-off-your-readers crusade.

Your obviously writing your business plan as you go along. When was the last time that you saw David Edwards write a column asking for donations to keep Cycle World affloat? If they have to raise prices they do so and screw those who don't like it. And if a magazine starts losing money, they either sell it or close it down (remember Cycle?).

Maybe its time to replace the "donate" sign with a "FOR SALE" banner.

All the best to you.

Sportmax 03-08-2001 06:25 AM

Re: Donate Now, Or Pay Later, Part Duex
You're right. Pay to view or get a plan. You choose.

blip 03-08-2001 08:47 AM

Re: What you are competing with ...
Loads of money from payoffs? Man, pass some around of what you're smokin' because I'd like to live in your world too where we're getting massive payoffs for reviewing stuff.

When you do drop back to reality, count the tire ads and sum up the revenue for that, that's how much we have ever made from "payoffs." Not that we'd ever take a payoff. Maybe in England they do, but not here @MO.

I also fail to see how we can review "out own products" when we make nothing. Of course, when we do make MO Gear available, we will tell you how awesome it is, and why you should buy zillions of shirts/hats/longsleeves. ;-)

hunterk1 03-08-2001 04:09 PM

As both a motorcyclist and a Linux-geek, I am extremely glad to see you guys using the slashdot system for posting news! Also, I've been hearing about the trouble alot of dot-coms have been having, and I have enjoyed your site in the past, so I am willing to donate. I just paid $15 for a two-year subscription to Motorcyclist, so I'll pay around that to you guys, just for the hell of it. I hope everything works out...

blip 03-08-2001 05:32 PM

Re: Fantastic!
Actually, /. is mod_perl stuff, a massive mess. MO in it's current iteration started as a self-written gosh-awefull mess, then merged what we needed (mostly back-end usertrack logging and an md5() login system) with PHP-Nuke 3.6.

Sadly, we've diverged so far from Nuke that using the upgrades the Nuke team does are almost as hard as writing it yourself...

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